Combined wind, heat and ice: Audi is now able to perform its testing programme under realistic conditions in its new climatic wind tunnel – in icy cold or blazing heat and with wind speeds of up to 300 km/h. The goal: to improve the comfort and safety of its vehicles even further.
Audi added the final element to its Wind Tunnel Centre at the beginning of 2008: the new climatic wind tunnel can produce temperatures from -25 to +55 °C. Along with heat and cold, sun simulations with up to 1,000 watts per square metre are also possible, as well as rain simulations up to 2,500 litres per hour. The relative atmospheric humidity can be raised to 40 g/kg. Testing in the new climatic wind tunnel covers three areas:
- More comfort: air-conditioning in the passenger compartment
- Improved performance and efficiency: cooling of the engine and its auxiliary components
- Increased safety: dirtying, de-icing and spray (windscreen wipers)
As with Audi’s two other wind tunnels, the climatic wind tunnel is also constructed based on the “Göttinger” principle, in other words, it has a closed air circuit. To save space, like the thermal tunnel, it is built vertically. The fan has an output of 2.4 megawatts, producing speeds up to 300 km/h. The temperature-controlled air travels through two corners to the antechamber. After passing through a screen, the air is compressed by 6:1 through the nozzle and into the open test section. From there, the air is captured in an adjustable funnel and guided back to the fan past two more corners.